ELIX Polymers announces new compounding line

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ELIX Polymers has announced that it is to invest in a new compounding line at its Tarragona site. The company’s planned investment is part of its strategic objective to become a leading manufacturer of high quality pre-colored ABS resins and derivatives as well as tailor-made specialties used in automotive, healthcare, consumer, appliances and electronics applications, as per the company's press release.

The new line will incorporate state of the art technologies for thermoplastics compounding production, specifically for ABS and ABS blends, and will be developed in cooperation/partnership with the leading suppliers of these technologies. The line will include a twin screw compounder, ZSK 92 Mc18 from Coperion GmbH, and an underwater pelletizing system, 7EAC from Gala Kunststoff GmbH.

The line, which will come into operation by Q2 2016, will provide ELIX Polymers with greater flexibility to deliver a wider range of tailor-made solutions and will increase capacity on top of the current compounding line.

The new investment is an important step forward in ELIX's Excellence in Operations Program, and it will improve efficiency in operations and energy resources, whilst ensuring highest safety standards.
ELIX's Excellence in Operations Program is part of the company’s strategy, focusing on customers’ demands for increased flexibility in customized solutions and reduced lead times as part of ELIX's service differentiation.

Over the last 2 years, ELIX Polymers has invested in a number of state-of-the-art assets at its facilities, to meet customers’ requirements and support expected growth. In parallel, ELIX Polymers has improved its operations by redefining procedures and processes in line with LEAN management principles. This has resulted in a more flexible plant and improvements of the scrap rate levels and reduced consumption of water and energy.

David Castaneda, Operations Director at ELIX Polymers said: "This program is part of ELIX's strategic plan for our new company positioning and transformation. It has been successfully implemented, optimizing the operating profile and resulting in a highly efficient, reliable and profitable company."

As MRC wrote before, in April 2015, ELIX Polymers introduced the new range of high heat ABS grades with very low emissions and high flowability. This latest innovative product development meets the stringent requirements of the automotive industry and is suitable for all interior and exterior applications.

ELIX Polymers is one of the most important manufacturers of ABS resins and derivatives in Europe, with 40 years of experience in engineering plastics and an installed capacity of 180,000/year from their plant in Tarragona (Spain) to the world. The operation starts in 1975, when the Tarragona ABS and SAN production plant was inaugurated.

Total reports better than expected Q4 net profit, to cut costs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- French oil and gas firm Total reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on Thursday and announced further cost reductions and asset sales in 2016 to enable it to weather low oil prices, as CNBC said.

Oil prices have fallen by 70 percent since mid-2014 due to global oversupply and slow economic growth, hitting oil and gas company profits and forcing them to cut costs, reduce capital spending, delay projects and cut jobs.

"The resilience in a downgraded environment demonstrates the effectiveness of the group's integrated model," Total's Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said in a statement.

Total said its net adjusted income in the last quarter of 2015 fell 26 percent to USD2.1 billion year-on-year compared with the fourth quarter of 2014.

The firm's hydrocarbons output grew 5.5 percent to 2.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day year-on-year. Reuters analysts had expected Total's net adjusted profit at USD1.931 billion and production at 2.371 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The firm said it plans to cut capital spending to around USD19 billion in 2016 and targets asset sales of about USD4 billion.

Total said it took a one-time charge of USD3.7 billion in the quarter. It said it plans to pay a fourth-quarter dividend of 0.61 euros per share and shareholders will have the option of receiving the payment in cash or new discounted shares.

As informed earlier, Total signed long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) sale and purchase agreements with state-owned Indonesian company Pertamina for the supply of LNG volumes increasing from 0.4 to 1 million tonnes per year over a period of 15 years beginning 2020.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

Valspar acquires coil coatings firm in Italy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Valspar Corporation announced that it has completed the acquisition of ISVA Vernici, a European coil coatings manufacturer headquartered in Turin, Italy, said Khq.

The ISVA acquisition extends Valspar's manufacturing footprint in Europe and brings customers an expanded product offering and increased customer service capabilities. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"ISVA's excellent positioning in southern Europe will improve Valspar Coil's global presence and extend our reach into North Africa and the Gulf region," said Howard Heckes, Valspar Executive Vice President and President, Global Coatings. "Both Valspar and ISVA have long histories of innovation, supported by technologies and products that are well-respected in the market. Valspar's customers will benefit from access to coating technologies from ISVA paired with Valspar's technical service and global manufacturing capabilities. We are pleased to welcome the ISVA team to the Valspar family to help deliver these benefits to our customers."

Valspar is one of the leading manufacturers of architectural coil and extrusion coatings in the world. With an enduring commitment to durability, sustainability, and an ever-expanding palette of colors, Valspar offers unlimited design freedom to countless industries, projects and locations.

As MRC informed earlier, Valspar completed development of a USD45m manufacturing centre in Tianjin, China, for a range of paints and coatings products in April 2015.

The Valspar Corporation is an American international manufacturer of paint and coatings based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. With nearly 10,000 employees in 25 countries and a company history that spans over two centuries long, it is the sixth largest paint and coating corporation in the world. Valspar was founded in 1806 as a paint dealership in Boston, Massachusetts. The Valspar name emerged in 1903 as a new clear varnish, and became the company name in 1932.

LyondellBasell introduced two PP grades

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Plastics chemicals firm LyondellBasell has increased its healthcare portfolio with the introduction of two polypropylene grades, said Plasticsinpackaging.

Purell grade HP548N is said to offer improved rigidity and a potentially faster cycle time. It is set to be used for products such as vials, pill strips, medical devices, syringe plungers and rigid containers.

Meanwhile, the RP315M grade is claimed to offer an enhanced balance between mechanical and optical properties when used in the packaging of medical devices, cosmetics, flexible packaging, lab-ware and caps and closures for the pharmaceutical industry.

Rodney Fox, marketing manager of LyondellBasell Polypropylene Healthcare Europe, said: "The Purell family of grades offers products based on LyondellBasell’s pioneering resin and manufacturing technology developments. The new grades Purell HP548N and Purell RP315M not only extend our Purell product range for healthcare applications, but they also help us to address the specialised product needs of our customers."

These two grades are part of the Dutch business’ Purell Healthcare Service Concept, which has been set up to offer a consistency in the formulation, supply and compliance to regulatory requirements.

As it was informed earlier, in September 2015 LyondellBasell added the Moplen grade HP742U and HP743V to its range of polypropylene (PP) products.

LyondellBasell Industries NV is a manufacturing company. The company produces chemicals, fuels, and polymers used for packaging, clean fuels, durable textiles, medical applications, construction materials, and automotive parts. LyondellBasell Industries operates globally and is headquartered in the Netherlands. LyondellBasell is also a leading licensor of polypropylene and polyethylene technologies. The more than 250 polyolefin process licenses granted by LyondellBasell are twice that of any other polyolefin technology licensor.

Axens to supply technology on Chinese first plant for crude-to-paraxylene

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hengli Petrochemical Co. has selected Axens to supply technologies for its petrochemical project to be located at Changxing Island in China's Liaoning Province, announced the producer on its site.

This crude-to-paraxylene complex, with a capacity of processing 400 000 bpd of crude, will supply high-purity paraxylene (PX) to PTA plants (purified terephthalic Acid) for pET application. The complex includes a final-conversion refinery oriented towards the production of naphtha and an aromatic complex to maximize high-purity paraxylene production.

As part of the project, Axens will provide the following technologies:
2 parallel trains of H-Oil RC units, using ebullated bed technology, for the hydroconversion of vacuum residue, combined with a Solvahl deasphalting unit for processing the unconverted residue,
2 hydrocracking (HyK) units for processing straight run vacuum distillate and those produced by the H-Oil RC unit along with the deasphalted oil from the Solvahl unit,
2 parallel trains of hydrocracking units to process atmospheric gasoil in maximum naphtha production mode,
1 naphtha hydrotreating unit,
3 parallel Aromizing units using a continuous catalytic regenerative (CCR) reforming process to maximize aromatics production from naphtha,
2 parallel Aromatics chains using Eluxyl 1.15 technology for paraxylene purification combined with Oparis technology for full isomerization of other C8 aromatics into paraxylene,
1 MTBE unit.

The new complex will be the largest site in the world for the production of high-purity paraxylene along with LPG, gasoline and diesel fuels meeting China 5 specifications.

Axens says that its large technology portfolio and ability to maximize naphtha production, and therefore paraxylene production, were key criteria for selecting it as the main technology provider.

Over the past 12 months, Axens has been awarded a cumulative paraxylene production capacity of about 7 MMtpy.

As MRC informed earlier, China-based Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian) Refinery has awarded a contract to CB&I to use its Catofin catalytic dehydrogenation technology for a grassroots propane and butane dehydrogenation unit to be constructed in Dalian of Liaoning Province.

Hengli Group which was founded in 1994 now owns the largest PTA factory of monomer capacity, the largest production base of superbright polyester yarn and industrial yarn, the largest weaving enterprise in the world. In 2014, the sales volume of Hengli Group is RMB 163 billion, which ranks 11th in China's top 100 private enterprises.